#DrewsViews: Fluctuating Body Dysphoria

by Drew Adams

Every time I look in the mirror I think about a quote from one of my biggest inspirations Aydian Dowling: “Some areas of my body used to remind me of everything I’m not. Now, they represent everything I am.”

I think about that quote and I can’t help but think back on my transition up to this point. I’ve made a ton of progress, with hormones and top surgery and all of that, and the areas most affected by those things are definitely indicative of who I am- my chest, my voice, my shoulders, and my more muscular areas, like my arms and neck.

It’s also plain to see that some areas still have a ways to go–my hips, that whole downstairs area, and my face.

Before starting testosterone and before top surgery, I’m sure I was more dysphoric about my body than I am now. However, I must have had better coping mechanisms than I do now because I feel like my body dysphoria has gotten worse over time, not better.

Lately I’ve been more dysphoric about my body than I’ve ever been consciously aware of and I can’t for the life of me figure out why. But when I look back on who I’ve become, I remember how much progress I’ve made, and that makes me feel better.

Fluctuations in body dysphoria are part of the process. We, as a community, need to talk about fluctuations in body dysphoria so we can better combat our negative feelings and grow as individuals and as a group.

This is who I am today. I’ve become a better version of my past self, and I’m eager to see who I will become.

About the Author:

Drew Adams is a transgender high school senior from Ponte Vedra, FL, who is committed to LGBTQ advocacy at the local and national levels. He serves as his high school GSA’s president and raises money for Northeast Florida’s LGBTQ youth outreach, JASMYN, to which he also donates food, toiletries and school supplies. Nationally, Drew serves as a youth ambassador and advocacy volunteer for The Trevor Project, a youth social media ambassador for the Matthew Shepard Foundation, and a Volunteer and Intern Coordinator for Point of Pride. On the legislative side, Drew lobbies for the Equality Act by visiting with his Congressional representatives and their staff.

Additionally, Drew has spent years fighting to change his school district’s bathroom policy to be trans-inclusive, and the fight is still ongoing. Drew is an International Baccalaureate student and a volunteer at the Mayo Clinic, and he hopes to go to medical school and become an adolescent psychiatrist specializing in transgender health. For fun, he practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, creates sculpture art and plays the piano.